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1.  The Meaning and the Scope of the Subject Matter: Government

  1. Government as an Institution of the State
  2. Government as an Art of Governing
  3. Government as an Academic Field of Study

2. Features/Characteristics of government;

  1. Features of Government
  2. Functions of Government
  3. Why we Study Government

3. Basic Concepts of Government:

  1. Power
  2. Authority

4. i) Legitimacy  ii) Sovereignty  iii) Democracy

5. i) Communalism  ii) Feudalism

6. i) Socialism  (ii) Communism  (iii) Capitalism

7. i) Fascism  ii) Nazism  iii) Totalitarianism

8. State and Nation; Political Culture

9. Political Socialization

10.  Characteristics of government: (i) Unitary government (ii) Federal government.

11. Revision/examination






  • Government as an Institution of the State
  • Government as a Process or Art of Governing
  • Government as an Academic Field of Study



Human beings in their relationships with one another tend to have diverse and conflicting interests in their existence in the society. The need to regulate the conflict of interest in man and the desire to set up a peaceful society led to the formation of government. If there were no agencies or a body to regulate people’s activities, the society would become what Thomas Hobbes referred to as a primitive society. This is a society where life is solitary, poor, wicked and short.

In order to prevent confusion and disorder in a society, people will have to surrender their natural rights to a body or an agency of the state called government. The absence of government in a state will lead to anarchy, that is, a state of disorder and lawlessness where might is right.


Government therefore refers to the body of persons and institutions that make and enforce laws in a state. It is the instrument through which the purpose of the state is formulated, expressed and attained. It is also an agency established by the political community to promote the general welfare of the people.



  1. Explain the term Government as an Academic Field of Study

  2. Why do we study government?



Government as a process or art of governing may be defined as the involvement of organs of government vested with power and authority for maintaining peace and security and also for making and enforcing laws. Through the formulation and implementation of policies in the state, government as a process of governing regulates the activities of the citizens and conducts the affairs of the state.


In order for the art of governing to be much easier and effective, government is not vested in one organ but divided into three organs. These organs are powerful and perform different but complimentary functions. They are the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary.


The Legislature (House of Assembly) makes the laws and passes the bills to the Executive arm for implementation. The Executive arm executes the laws while the Judiciary interprets the laws and punishes offenders.



Government as a school subject deals with the whole process and structure of political institution. The study helps us to understand the arm of government involved in the running of the affairs of the state.


It also studies international organizations which a state has membership with and relationship between the states in the world. This study is called political science.



  1. Explain the term government as an Academic Field of Study?
  2. Why is government referred to as an Academic Field of Study?



  1. How is government an art of governing?
  2. How would the world have been without governments?
  3. Can only one organ of government run a state?
  4. How is government an academic field of study?



Essential Government by C.C. Dibie pages 1-2

Comprehensive Government by J.U. Anyaele pages 6-7


  1. The study of government helps us to —————-

    a) Know our rights  b) evade tax c) disobey government

  2. The THEORY of a primitive society was initiated by ______

    a) Nelson Mandela  b) Thomas Hobbes  c) Nnamdi Azikiwe

  3. The fourth organ of government is the ___________

    a) High court b) electoral commission  c) none of the above

  4. The absence of government in a state leads to _______

    a) Peaceful existence  b) anarchy  c) communism

  5. One basic principle of government is _________

    a) State and nation  b) authority  c) separation of power



  1. Describe the functions of the organs of government.
  2. Why is government necessary in a state?






  • Features of Government
  • Functions of Government
  • Why do we Study Government?



Government as an Institution has the following characteristics:

  1. Power: Power enables the government to influence the citizens and execute its policies. Power is a basic tool for maintaining law and order.
  2. Law: This refers to the body of rules that regulate the conduct of the people. It is called the constitution. It defines the rights and obligations of the citizens and functions of the government.
  3. Revenue: Government has to generate funds to carry out its policies. This is done by imposition of import duties and collection of taxes.
  4. Personnel: This refers to the able-bodied men and women who help the government to run its affairs. They include the public servants, judges, police, etc.
  5. Public support: No government can survive without public support. The government needs the support of the public to function properly as public support confers legitimacy and right to rule on government.
  6. Welfare services: Government has the responsibility of providing social amenities like good roads, pipe-borne water, electricity etc for its citizens in order to justify its existence.



Highlight 5 features of government



  1. Lawmaking: government makes laws to regulate the behavior of its citizens.
  2. Maintenance of law and order: the primary and most important function of the government is to maintain law and order in a state. This is done through the enforcement agencies such as the police force.
  3. Defense of the country: it is the duty of the government to protect the citizens from external attack. This is done by the armed forces such as Army, Navy and Air force.
  4. Protection of lives and properties: it is the function of the government to protect its citizens. The police and the law courts have the responsibility of protecting not only the citizens but also those living in the country.
  5. To administer justice: it is the duty of the law court, which is the judicial arm of government to settle disputes and administer justice. Prisons are built for the punishment of offenders and criminals.
  6. Provision of social services: it is also the duty of the government to provide hospitals, good roads, electricity, pipe borne water etc to citizens through taxes, which the citizens pay.
  7. Provision of employment opportunities: government has the task of providing employment opportunities to its citizens. This makes them economically independent.
  8. Economic functions: government through its economic policies regulates economic activities in order to protect the economy thereby ensuring economic growth. This is done through careful economic planning and execution.
  9. Political functions: such political functions of the government include conducting periodic free and fair elections to ensure smooth and peaceful change of government and maintain a stable political atmosphere.
  10. Maintaining external relations: one important function of the government is to establish and maintain external relations with friendly nations. This relation could be based on trade, politics, health etc. This is why nations establish embassies and high commissions with high commissioners and ambassadors appointed in charge of them.



There are many reasons why we study government. Such reasons are:

  1. Political Education: the study of government gives political education and equips the learner with basic ideas on how to take active part in the government of our country.
  2. The study of government helps us to know our rights, duties and obligations as citizens and on how best to defend them.
  3. Government helps us to understand better the system of government adopted in our country and the implication of such system of government.
  4. The knowledge of government helps us to have the spirit of patriotism and nationalism.
  5. The study of government liberates us from political ignorance and explains why government of countries belong to some international organizations.
  6. Government widens our political horizon and stimulates the interest of citizens in the activities of government thereby preventing the emergence of tyranny and dictatorship.
  7. The ultimate aim of government is to make us political scientists and make us assess the performance of a leader of a political party.
  8. Finally, the study of government supports the practice of democracy and the rule of law.



  1. State five functions of government.
  2. How can the government maintain law and order.



  1. Why are you a student of government?
  2. Why do we study government?
  3. What is the ultimate aim of studying government?
  4. Of what benefit is government to the society?




Essential government by C.C. Dibie pages 2-3

Comprehensive government by J.U. Anyaele pages 7-8



  1. Which of these is not a feature of government?

    a) Personnel b) Revenue  c) legislature

  2. The organ of government responsible for law making is the ____

    a) Executive b) judiciary  c) legislature

  3. One major function of government is _____

    a) Law making b) road maintenance  c) electioneering

  4. The knowledge of government helps us to have the spirit of ____

    a) Hooliganism  b) patriotism c) atheism

  5. The ultimate aim of government is to make us

    a) thugs b) political scientists c) rebel leaders



  1. Explain five reasons why you study government.
  2. Write out any six functions of government.






  • Power
  • Sources of Power
  • Authority



Power is the ability to control the actions of others irrespective of their wishes. It is the ability to enforce decisions or command through the possession of means of sanctions. It seeks to compel people to obey rules. Sanctions or punishments are often applied for non-compliance.


Forms of power

  1. Political power: this is the type of power that is exercised by the government in the running of the affairs of the state. Decisions made through this type of power are binding on the state. Power resides in the three arms of government and is derived from the constitution.
  2. Physical power: this type is often referred to as naked power. It involves the use of force to compel people to obey. The police, security services etc use this type of power and it often times may cause pain, injury or death.
  3. Military power: military power can be used to forcefully overthrow a government, quell riots and defend the internal and external territory of a state.
  4. Economic power: this type of power involves the use of economic resources at one’s disposal to control the actions of others. Rich men exercise economic power over the poor by influencing government policies to suit them.



  1. The Constitution: in democratic states, the constitution confers power on an individual through the ballot box.
  2. Through Inheritance: in most societies, this is a common means of acquiring power. Those born in royal families have the right to ascend into power and this gives them some elements of power.
  3. Coercion/Force: Power can be obtained through the use of force especially the military. In Africa for example, political power is derived by the military by over-throwing a government through what is known as coup d’état.
  4. The use of Charisma: Power is conferred on many people through their personal qualities and influence. Such people have the zeal and charismatic attributes of a leader. E.g. Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Nnamdi Azikiwe and Obafemi Awolowo of Nigeria and Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana.
  5. Position of authority: Those who possess expert knowledge in various aspects of human life, exercise power over those who do not have. Such power ceases to exist when such a person vacates the office.
  6. Wealth: Those that control economic resources use such advantage to acquire power. This is in line with the principle of economic determinism.



  1. What is power?
  2. List and explain the forms of power.



Authority refers to the right to command or direct others and enforce obedience. The power of authority is derived from one’s office and from the consent of the people. It implies the acceptance by the people of someone’s right to rule.


This is why even military governments try to legitimize its authority by seeking the consent of the people. In a democratic society, the electorates are the primary source of power and political authority.


Sources of Political Authority

Max Weber, a German sociologist identifies three sources of political authority. They are:

  1. Traditional Authority: This is the right to rule based on customs and traditions. It is hereditary and it is based on norms, customs and tradition of a particular society. It is through this source that Obas, Emirs and Obis derive their political power.
  2. Legal Authority: This type of authority is derived from the body of rules and regulations governing a society. This is called the constitution and could be written or unwritten.
  3. Charismatic Authority: This is derived from the extraordinary qualities, which a person has that enables him to lead others. Charisma is an extraordinary quality, which a person possesses and gives him the right to rule.


Types of Authority

  1. Political Authority: This is the right of political office holders to command, make and enforce policies. The constitution confers such powers.
  2. Military Authority: This refers to the rights of the armed forces to use force to maintain law and order and security in the state.
  3. Traditional Authority: This is the power legitimized by the customs and tradition. This type of authority is acquired through inheritance.
  4. Delegated Authority: This is authority conferred on a subordinate to carry out certain powers on specified matters.
  5. Technical Authority: When a person’s authority is accepted because he is an expert in a recognized field, he has technical authority.
  6. Judicial Authority: This is the authority which the courts and judges have to issue fines or other punishments to individuals, groups or governments.
  7. Administrative Authority: This is the right of the professionals like civil servants and managers to make decisions in their respective offices and secure obedience.


  1. List and explain the sources of authority.
  2. Discuss five types of authority.



  1. Define authority?
  2. What is the difference between power and authority?
  3. How is economic power relevant in politics?
  4. How can inheritance be a source of power?



Essential government by C.C. Dibie pages 7-8

Comprehensive government by J.U. Anyaele pages 10-11



  1. Power is the ability to _____________

    a) control others  b) fight others c) work

  2. ——- is a form of power

    a) Military b) Democracy c) Oligarchy

  3. One source of power is

    a) Election b) police c) high court

  4. Charismatic power is based on a leaders ________

    a) smartness b) stubbornness c) personal qualities

  5. Which is not a source of authority?

    a) Legal b) Charismatic c) Traditional



  1. How is economic power relevant in politics?
  2. Inheritance is a form of power. Explain






  • Legitimacy
  • Sovereignty
  • Democracy



The word legitimacy is derived from the Latin word ‘legitimus’, which means lawful or according to law. In government, it means the acceptance of the political system by the people in compliance with the laid down rules and regulations.


A government is considered to be legitimate if it has come into office through a general recognized and acceptable means such as a free and fair election. It also means the support of the people toward a government in power, since the stability of government depends largely on popular support from the people.


Factors that affect Legitimacy

Leadership: when a leader performs very well, the people accept his regime as a legitimate one.


Common National Symbols: the existence of common national symbols like the National Anthem, Pledge, National Flag, Coat of Arms, National Passport etc encourages legitimacy. The observance of national holidays and acceptance of common heroes and heroines also affect legitimacy.


Popular participation: for legitimacy to take place, various interest groups such as political parties, pressure groups, trade unions etc must be allowed to participate in government affairs.


Foreign Diplomacy: the foreign policies adopted by a government of a country determine its legitimacy before other nations.


Good Government: when the government meets up to the expectations of the people, its legitimacy is recognized. This is why some military governments seek to legitimize their government by implementing good policies.


Popular support: if a government in power receives the support of the people, it is legitimate. In modern democracy, the party that receives the greatest support in an election forms the legitimate government.



  1. Define Legitimacy.
  2. State five factors that affect legitimacy



Sovereignty may be defined as the supreme power in a state to exercise full legal authority over its own affairs within its territory without any form of external control. A French political philosopher Jean Bodin (1530 – 1596) introduced the modern THEORY of sovereignty.


He defines it thus ‘sovereignty is the supreme and final legal authority above and beyond which no further legal power exists’. A sovereign state therefore has the absolute power to make and enforce laws within its territory without any external influence.


Types of Sovereignty

Legal Sovereignty: this is the power, which a state has to make laws and enforce them. The body responsible for making and enforcing the laws of the state is known as the legal sovereign.


Political Sovereignty: in this type of sovereignty, the supreme power is vested on the electorate (the people) to establish their own government through voting. The people’s mandate through the ballot box forms the power of government.


Internal Sovereignty: this is the power of the state to exercise power over its nationals within its territorial areas.


External Sovereignty: in a simpler form, this is defined as freedom from external control. The government has the power to conduct its affairs without external influence.


De-facto Sovereignty: this refers to a body that acquires its sovereignty of a state through force. This is evident through the forceful seizure of government through military invasion or revolution. It uses force to ensure total obedience to its will.

De-jure Sovereignty: in this type of sovereignty, it is acquired in accordance to the laws of the land. It is opposed to the use of force.


Characteristics of Sovereignty

  1. Indivisibility: the powers of a state are final and cannot be shared or divided.
  2. Permanence: Sovereignty of a state is permanent as long as the state exists. Government may change but a state’s sovereignty cannot change.
  3. Absoluteness: this means that a state gives order to all and receives order from none. The powers of a sovereign state cannot be limited.

  4. Absence of Foreign control: the powers of a sovereign state are supreme in its own territory and are very free from external influence.
  5. Comprehensiveness: the power of a sovereign state extends over all persons, organizations and associations within its territory.
  6. Inalienability: this means that the powers of sovereignty of a state cannot be transferred. If it is given away, it cannot be regained.



1. What is Sovereignty?

2. List and explain the types of sovereignty



This is a system of government based on popular consent. The electorates freely choose their government; that is to say, it is the government with the approval of the people. Democracy is a fusion of two Greek words, “Demos” (people) and ‘Kratia’ (rule or government). Its origin is traced to ancient Greek city-states because they permitted freedom of speech and ideas.


According to Abraham Lincoln, Democracy is the government of the people by the people and for the people. Democracy allows the people to choose or reject their leaders. It is regarded as the best form of government that can be adopted in a country.


Types of Democracy

Direct/Classical Democracy: this is a form of democracy where all political decisions are made directly by all the citizens. The procedure of majority rule is adopted. This type of democracy was practiced in ancient Greek states and pre-colonial Igbo village republics.


Modern/Representative/Indirect Democracy: In this form of democracy, citizens exercise their political rights by electing representatives who periodically represent them in political office.


Features of Democracy

  1. Democracy implies periodic free and fair elections to elect political office holders.
  2. Fundamental human rights are recognized and protected.
  3. Majority rule i.e. the will of the people through the ballot prevails.
  4. There is equality before the law; nobody is above the law
  5. Opposition parties are allowed to exist and there is the presence of party system.
  6. Public opinions on government policies and programs are allowed.
  7. The Judiciary must be independent without any form of influence.
  8. The principle of separation of power must be maintained.
  9. There should be freedom of the press against intimidation.
  10. There should be an effective process of changing government to prevent dictatorship.
  11. The Rule of Law must be applied. Government rule based on the laid down laws.
  12. Political equality is an important attribute of democracy – one man, one vote.


Demerits of Democracy

  1. Democracy in an illiterate society could be very dangerous
  2. Decision-making is slow due to lay down procedures to be followed.
  3. The votes are counted on the basis of quantity and not quality
  4. Elections bring about thuggery, violence, arson, bribery and corruption.
  5. The poor can sell their votes at paltry sums and this promotes corrupt leadership
  6. It is expensive to run due to the large political parties involved.



  1. What is Democracy?
  2. List and explain the types of democracy.



  1. What is Jean Bodin’s idea of sovereignty?
  2. Distinguish between de-facto and de-jure sovereignty.
  3. What is the difference between classical and representative democracy?
  4. How can democracy in an illiterate society be dangerous?



Essential government by C.C. Dibie pages 9-16

Comprehensive government by J.U. Anyaele pages 11-13& 15-18



  1. The concept of democracy originated in ________

a) Britain b) France c) Greece

  1. Which of these is not a characteristic of sovereignty

a) Permanence  b) Indivisibility  c) Incapability

  1. Legitimacy can be determined by which of the following?

a) Common symbols  b) Equal rights c) Common heritage

  1. A government is considered to be legitimate if it ______

a) wins an election  b) becomes autocratic   c) has no good plans

  1. A form of sovereignty derived through force is called ____ sovereignty

a) de-facto b) de-jure c) legal



  1. Explain four factors that affect legitimacy.
  2. Explain the two types of democracy.






  • Communalism
  • Feudalism



Communalism refers to a political and economic arrangement in which land, the major factor of production is collectively owned. In a communal community for instance, members pursue a common goal collectively and properties like land are owned collectively and shared among members on an equal basis. In this system, resources are utilized for the general interest of everybody.



Features of Communalism

  1. There are no class systems; everybody co-operates with each other;
  2. There is collective ownership of property;
  3. No member is allowed to own a private property;
  4. Members of a communal society share common culture and identity;
  5. The means of exchange is trade by barter;
  6. Everybody has the spirit of co-operation; they help each other in building houses, on the farm etc;
  7. Labour is not sold and there is absence of exploitation;
  8. It promotes collective interest and discourages individual objectives;
  9. The community is allowed to operate at full autonomy with different identities.



  1. Define communalism.
  2. State five features of communalism.



This is a system of government based on land ownership and control. It is a primitive system of government practised in Western Europe in the Middle Ages, as land was owned and controlled by kings and Emperors. The king granted land (fief) to his subjects (vassals) who, as part of their functions must in return work for the king on certain days or fight on his behalf.


Feudalism is a form of decentralized oligarchy (government controlled by a few people), based on land ownership. Political leadership was based on land ownership. Industrialization brought about the collapse of Feudalism. Capitalists became influential and the relationship that existed between landowners and their serfs (servants) transformed to that of capitalists and proletariats (labourers).


Features of Feudalism

  1. This system was based on land ownership.
  2. The lands were owned by kings or emperors.
  3. The land users (serfs) must in return work and offer services to the king.
  4. It was the duty of the land owners or Lords to protect the serfs.
  5. The feudal tenants must give military assistance to the owner of the land;
  6. The lords exercise governmental power – legislative, military, executive and judicial power over the vassals who have no political right;
  7. There was a class system; the Barons or land owners and the serfs or vassals who had no land;
  8. There was constant war and insecurity in the state.


Merits of Feudalism

  1. Feudalism laid the foundation for capitalism;
  2. It instituted orderliness and avoided anarchy;
  3. It provided the serfs with a level of security;
  4. It gave the freed slaves a limited freedom to enter into contracts with a lord;
  5. It fostered among the big landlords self-reliance and love for personal freedom.


Demerits of Feudalism

  1. The serfs were brutally oppressed and exploited;
  2. The system gave rise to autocratic leaders who ruled the vassals as they wished;
  3. Loyalty and obedience were to the landowner and not to the government;
  4. The state was divided into semi-independent parts; it could not act as a whole.
  5. There was no national government.



  1. Explain the term Feudalism.
  2. Highlight 5 features of feudalism.



  1. Why do we have absence of national government under Feudalism?
  2. Explain the following terms (i) a serf  (ii) proletariat.
  3. Differentiate between feudalism and communalism
  4. Why is feudalism no longer evoke?



Essential government by C.C. Dibie pages 18,25&26

Comprehensive government by J.U. Anyaele pages 23-24



  1. Which of these is not a feature of feudalism?

    a) Land b) Serf c) Proletariat

  2. The right to influence the activities of others is called ________

    a) Legitimacy b) power  c) sovereignty

  3. Power derived from the laws of the land is called __________ power

    a) Political b) economic  c) traditional

  4. An economic arrangement where land is collectively owned is called _____

    a) Feudalism b) communalism  c) socialism

  5. The collapse of feudalism is attributed to the rise of _________

    a) Fascism b) capitalism c) socialism



  1. Distinguish between power and authority.
  2. Explain any five features of communalism.






  • Socialism  
  • Communism  
  • Capitalism



Socialism may be defined as an ideology that advocates collective ownership, control and organization of the means of production, distribution and exchange of goods and services. In this system, most of the factors of production and distribution are controlled and operated by the government on behalf of the citizens. Goods and services are produced with the aim of satisfying the wants of the whole citizens and not to the profit derived.


This ideology was formulated by Karl Marx, a German (1816 – 1883) and through this ideology; he hoped to fight the evils of capitalism.


Features of Socialism

  1. The government owns and controls almost all the means of production and distribution;
  2. Goods and services are not produced to make profits but rather according to the needs and satisfaction of the citizens;
  3. There is a central planning of production, distribution and exchange of goods and services;
  4. Full employment are of the cardinal principles of socialism;
  5. Socialism encourages equality and equal opportunities for all;
  6. Wealth is distributed according to individual contribution and needs.



This is the highest stage of socialism in which all the means of production and distribution are totally controlled by the government. Individual ownership of property is completely abolished in a communist state.


Karl Marx also propounded this ideology. The theory and principles of communism has it that the state owns everything and resources are distributed to the citizens according to their needs and ability. No country has ever practiced Communism.


Features of Communism

  1. Communism advocates the complete abolition of government and a stateless society where there is no government, exploitation nor oppression;
  2. It seeks to enthrone a classless society where everybody is equal socially and economically;
  3. It stipulates a compulsory confiscation of private properties without compensation;
  4. There is a centrally planned economy and the use of force in achieving a communist goal;
  5. Citizens receive resources only according to their needs and ability.



  1. Define socialism
  2. State 4 features of socialism



This is an economic ideology, which permits individuals to own and control the means of production, distribution and exchange in a country, while the economic activity of the government is at a minimum.


This political and economic ideology is practiced in nearly all countries of the world after the fall of Socialism in the 1900s. In this system, private individuals who have the economic strength participate in all sectors of the economy. Profit is the main motive or reason for participation as resources are allocated according to prices.


Features of Capitalism

  1. Private individuals are permitted under the law to own and control most means of production and distribution. Government participation is at a minimum;
  2. The consumers have a wide range of choice in a capitalist economy;
  3. The forces of demand and supply of essential commodities determine their prices and distribution;
  4. The major goal of the businessman in a capitalist economy is profit;
  5. There is usually competition and economic rivalry between firms, consumers etc;
  6. A capitalist society promotes a class society. There are three classes of people in a capitalist society. They are:
    1. The Peasants: they are the downtrodden masses that are struggling to earn their living.

      ii)  The Bourgeoisie: They are the rich capitalists that own large business organizations and control political power. There are three types of Bourgeoisie.

      They are:

      1. National Bourgeoisie: they are people that become wealthy through hard work;
      2. Comprador Bourgeoisie: they are those who make wealth through fraud, money laundering, drug trafficking etc;

        c) The Petit Bourgeoisie: they are the emerging wealthy persons.

    2. Proletariat: this refers to the working class persons that earn their livelihood by selling their labour for a wage or salary. Apart from the proletariat, there is also a set of people known as ‘lumpen proletariat’. They are the unemployed or rather under-employed people in the society. They are usually at security risk in the society.
  7. Capitalism is often associated with democratic principles. This is evident in the choice of leaders and permission of individual liberties;
  8. A capitalist state allows freedom of enterprise. Private individuals can own companies and manufacture goods of their choice;
  9. There is the use of advanced technology for high level of productivity to be ensured, favourable competition and increase in profit;
  10. The masses can determine what type of goods to buy and where to work. There are no laws restricting people from working in any particular firm or for government. There is personal liberty.



  1. Enumerate 5 features of socialism.
  2. Explain the concepts of the Bourgeoisie and Proletariat.



  1. What is Communism?
  2. What is the ultimate aim of Communism?
  3. What is Capitalism?
  4. Explain the following terms (i) Peasants (ii) Bourgeoisie (iii) Proletariat



Essential government by C.C. Dibie pages 18-24

Comprehensive government by J.U. Anyaele pages 19-22



  1. An ideology which promotes the control of major means of production by the state is

    a) communalism  b) socialism c) capitalism

  2. The theory of socialism was initiated by

    a) Thomas Hobbes  b) Karl Marx c) Jean Bodin

  3. A state which has power to make its own laws and enforce them has

    a) Power b) legitimacy c) sovereignty

  4. The lowest class of people in a capitalist state are the ___________

    a) Bourgeoisie b) proletariat c) peasants

  5. The highest stage of socialism is ___________

    a) Capitalism b) communalism  c) communism



  1. Outline five features of a Socialist state.
  2. Explain the concept of capitalism.





  • Fascism
  • Nazism
  • Totalitarianism



Fascism is an ideology based on the concept of force and total compliance to the tunes of the authority. It is regarded as a philosophy, principle, and organization of the aggressive nationalist and anti-communist dictatorship.


It started as a movement in Italy in 1922 and came to an end in 1943 under Benito Mussolini. The ideology condemns both capitalism and socialism, rejects peace, democracy and the rule of law and rather glorifies war.


Features of Fascism

  1. Fascism as an ideology encourages aggressive nationalism;
  2. In a Fascist state, the political leader is supreme, respected and even worshipped;
  3. The leader makes all laws. Rights and authority are derived from him;
  4. This system does not give room for the existence of any form of opposition. Where there is an opposition, it is usually destroyed by force;
  5. The state has absolute control over all aspects of a citizen’s life e.g. religion, education, etc.
  6. Political participation is reserved for the elite, while the majority are excluded;
  7. Fascism rejects popular views, the law of God and religion in general. It seeks to glorify war, which is believed to be the only means to peace.



  1. What is fascism?
  2. Highlight 4 features of fascism.



Nazism is a type of totalitarianism practised in Germany under Adolf Hitler between 1933 and 1945. It is a political ideology, which strongly believes that the German race is superior to the individual.


It also believes in a ‘national being based on the unity of blood’. The state has full control over the activities and personal liberties of the citizens, as the leadership is always right.


Features of Nazism

  1. The leader is always right and he controls all powers of government;
  2. There is only one political party – the Nazist political party;
  3. The leaders of the political party were automatically the leaders of the government;
  4. The government owns and controls the mass media;
  5. Oppositions were not allowed, while labour unions and other forms of pressure groups were prohibited;
  6. Government controlled the economy centrally;
  7. The rule of law and fundamental human rights were not recognized;
  8. The use of force and brutality to oppress the people was a major feature of a Nazist government.




Totalitarianism is a form of government, which involves absolute control of persons, ideas and properties by the government. It is also referred to as Authoritarianism. It allows only one political party to control and exist in the state.


Under this form of government, the citizens are the properties of the state; the mass media and the laws are meant to favour the tune of government. Citizens must obey the rulers at the expense of their fundamental human rights. Examples include the Nazist government in Germany and the Fascist rule in Italy.


Features of Totalitarianism

  1. There is a supreme authority which controls everything;
  2. There is one dominant political party which controls the state and there is no room for any opposition;
  3. Force and brutality is used to rule the masses;
  4. The presence of an autocratic government leads to the absence of the rule of law;
  5. The government controls the mass media;
  6. There is the existence of a single ideology and philosophy.



  1. What is Totalitarianism?
  2. Give 5 features of totalitarianism.



  1. What is Nazism?
  2. What is the dominant theme of the Nazist government?
  3. What is the aim of Totalitarianism?
  4. Why is there no room for opposition under a Totalitarian regime?



Essential government by C.C. Dibie pages 26-28

Comprehensive government by J.U. Anyaele pages 22-23



  1. The idea of Fascism originated in ____ (a) Britain  (b) Germany  (c) Italy
  2. The idea of Nazism was based on ____ (a) equality before the law (b) superiority of the German race (c) the supremacy of the law over all persons
  3. Which of the following distinguishes a state from a nation?

    (a) Population (b) sovereignty  (c) territory

  4. In a capitalist state, those who sell their labour for money are called the ____

    (a) Bourgeoisie  (b) proletariats (c) peasants

  5. An economic system based on hierarchical ownership of land is called ____

    (a) Socialism (b) Communalism (c) Feudalism



  1. In a tabular form, in five ways compare a democratic and a fascist state.
  2. Explain the guiding principles of Nazism.




  • State
  • Nation
  • Political Culture



A state may be simply defined as a politically organized body of people occupying a definite geographical entity/territory with an organized government, free from external control and has coercive power to secure obedience from its citizens and others.


Characteristics of a State

  1. Population: one major feature of a state is population. There must be a given number of people without a minimum or maximum to occupy it.
  2. Territory a state must possess a definite territory which includes air, ocean and other natural features. It might be either small or big with clear-cut boundaries separating it from others.
  3. Government the government makes a state effective as it runs the affairs of the state. The government performs its function on behalf of the state as it makes and enforces laws. The government maintains the existence and survival of a state.
  4. Sovereignty this refers to the power of a state to make and enforce laws within its territory without any external influence.
  5. Recognition a state must be recognized both internally and externally. Other countries in the international arena must recognize its existence.
  6. Membership: it is very compulsory for one to be a member of a state either by birth or other means of acquiring citizenship
  7. Law: a state must have a system of laws, which are binding on all the individuals and groups residing in the state. The laws are enshrined in the constitution.
  8. Permanence: a state is permanent. The individual can die, the government can be removed but a state cannot be removed unless it is conquered in a war.



A nation refers to a group of people who are united by common ties as a result of common culture, origin and descent. They have the same political aspirations and consciousness of unity. It is the consciousness of unity that is referred to as ‘nationalism” or a sense of nationality.


A nation possesses all attributes of a state except sovereignty. For a nation to be seen as a state, it must gain political independence and have the supreme power to make and enforce its own laws. The only difference between a state and a nation is sovereignty.



Political culture may be defined as the attitudes, beliefs, emotions, sentiments, ideas, and values that guide the behaviour of the people in any given state politically. It is the political way of life, which is developed by the society over a period of time. They might include method of election and people’s reaction to it, tolerance and other factors that encourage democracy.


Components of political Culture

  1. Cognitive Orientation: This refers to the people’s knowledge about the political system, beliefs about the government and the role of government officials.
  2. Evaluative Orientation: This refers to how the citizens can evaluate the performance of the people in government and the efficiency and effectiveness of their policies.
  3. Affective Orientation: This refers to the feeling of the people towards the political system and their government. It could also mean if the people are proud of their government and political institutions and loyal to them or if they feel indifferent.


Determinants of political Culture

  1. Different Ethnicity: the belief that each tribe has a distinct culture has an impact on the people’s political culture and this brings about difference of political culture.
  2. Historical Development: a society’s historical development determines and influences its political culture.
  3. Colonial Mentality: European colonial legacy has influenced political structure of states in Africa, Latin America, and Asia etc. For instance, Nigerian federal structure and political beliefs, values and attitudes are copied from Britain.
  4. Socio-economic structure: Urban and developed societies have higher educational standards. They tend to participate in the decision making of their states rather than the rural societies, which are rather conservative.
  5. Political Instability: constant instability in the political system brings about bad feelings in he people and this affects their political values and attitude towards politics.



  1. What is a State
  2. What is a Nation?



  1. How is a Nation different from a State?
  2. What do you understand by Political Culture?
  3. What are the components of political culture
  4. How does colonial mentality affect the political culture of a people?



Essential government by C.C. Dibie pages 4-6& 16-17

Comprehensive government by J.U. Anyaele pages 8-9



  1. The right of a state to make and enforce her own laws is called

    (a) Power (b) authority (c) sovereignty

  2. People united by common ties as a result of common culture, origin and descent are called a ____ (a) state (b) country (c) nation
  3. The concept also referred to as Authoritarianism is known as

    (a) totalitarianism (b) socialism (c) aristocracy

  4. A component of political culture which seeks to evaluate governments performance is known as ____ orientation (a) affective  (b) evaluative (c) cognitive
  5. One major determinant of political culture is ____

    (a) ethnicity  (b) political instability (c) all of the above



  1. Explain the component of political culture.
  2. Outline five characteristics of a state.




  • Political Socialization
  • Agents of Political Socialization



Political Socialization is a process whereby the citizens of a country are educated on the values, attitudes and beliefs of the political system. The political culture of the society is transmitted from one generation to another through political socialization.


The citizens of a country are politically aware and know the roles they should play. Through political socialization, the citizens display pride, patriotism, loyalty and above all nationalistic feelings to the nation.


Agents of Political Socialization

  1. The Family: the home is the first place one receives political upbringing. Children learn by observation and tend to do whatever they learn.
  2. The School: Through educational institutions, one can learn about national politics, history and practise how to play political roles.
  3. The Peer Groups: a person is known by the group he keeps. Playmates and friends influence one’s political views.
  4. Political Parties: they stimulate the political awareness and consciousness of the people. The members are educated through manifestoes and campaigns.
  5. The Mass Media: this includes the newspapers, radio, televisions and magazines. They entertain and inform the masses, as people gain knowledge from what they read, listen and watch from the mass media.

  6. Religious Groups: politics and religion go hand in hand. Religious groups teach and direct their members on the political course to follow.
  7. Pressure groups: they are very strong agents of socialization. They offer their members leadership training and educate them on their political rights, duties and obligations.



  1. What do you understand by Political Socialization?
  2. How does the mass media contribute towards political socialization?



  1. Explain four agents of socialization
  2. Explain the importance of political socialization



Essential government by C.C. Dibie pages 17-18

Comprehensive government by J.U. Anyaele pages 14-15



  1. The process of acquiring knowledge about the political system is termed

    (a) Political culture b) political socialization  c) political mobilization

2.  The following are agents of political socialization except _____

(a) mass protest b) peer group c) political party

  1. The agent of political socialization that is responsible for entertaining the masses is called (a) religious group (b) peer group (c) mass media
  2. _____ is regarded as the primary agent of socialization (a) The Family (b) The Community (c) The School
  3. The most distinguishing characteristic of a state is (a) Government (b) Sovereignty

    (c) Territory



  1. Distinguish between political culture and political socialization.
  2. How can the school contribute towards political socialization?






  • Unitary form of government.
  • Federal form of government.



This can be defined as one in which all governmental powers and functions that exist in a state or country are concentrated in a single central government. There is no constitutional division of powers in the country. Examples of countries that adopts unitary system are; Britain, France, Italy and so on.



  1. There is no constitutional division of powers.
  2. All powers and functions are concentrated in the hands of the central government.
  3. It is suitable for homogenous states.
  4. The system is best practiced in a relatively small state or country.
  5. The constitution is flexible.
  6. The parliamentary is supreme in a unitary form of government.
  7. The central government may have the power to modify the constitution.
  8. There is no conflict of authority since the central government possess all the powers.



  1. For efficient administration.
  2. Small country; Unitary government is best practised in a small country.
  3. It is best practised in a homogenous state.
  4. To ensure effective control and accountability in government.
  5. To ensure rapid and even development.
  6. To enable the central government to adequately manage the resources of the state.



  1. It is less expensive to operate.
  2. There is quick decision making.
  3. It promotes strong government.
  4. It promotes unity.
  5. There is no conflict of authority.
  6. The process of amending the constitution is relatively easy.
  7. It is suitable for emergency situation.



  1. It can lead to dictatorship.
  2. It is not suitable for a heterogeneous state.
  3. The central government is overloaded with functions.
  4. The interest of minority groups may not be protected.
  5. There may be high rate of unemployment as a result of low duplication of functions
  6. The system does not encourage local initiative.
  7. The government is too far from the people at the grassroot.
  8. It is not suitable for a large population.



  1. Define unitary form of government.
  2. State five features of a unitary state.



This can be defined as one in which all governmental powers and functions that exist in a country are shared between the central government and the component states or units. In this system, all levels of government derive their powers from the constitution. Examples of countries that practice federal system are; Nigeria, U.S.A, India, Russia and so on.



  1. There is constitutional division of powers.
  2. All levels of government derive their powers from the constitution.
  3. It is usually suitable for a large populated country.
  4. It is best practised in a heterogeneous state or country.
  5. It encourages local initiatives.
  6. The constitution is supreme.
  7. There is clear separation of powers.
  8. Each state or unit is allowed to develop at its own pace.



  1. To bring the government closer to the people.
  2. Size of the country: It is best practised in a large country.
  3. To prevent the minority from being dominated by the majority.
  4. Heterogeneous nature of the country: It is best adopted in a country with diverse cultures.
  5. The nearness of states to each other can bring about the desire for a federal system of government.
  6. The need to pool resources together to form a stronger economy necessitates the adoption of a federal system of government.



  1. It brings government closer to the people.
  2. It prevents dictatorship.
  3. It reduces the work load of the central government.
  4. Employment opportunities are created with the duplication of functions.
  5. The constitution is supreme.
  6. It encourages grassroot participation in politics.
  7. The system protects the interest of the minorities.



  1. There is delay in decision making
  2. Threat of Secession: Some units may threaten to break away from the union.
  3. There is unhealthy rivalry among the component units
  4. Boundary disputes: Component units always fight over boundaries.
  5. The minorities are always afraid that the majority will dominate them .
  6. Problem of state creation: All the ethnic groups want to have their own state which is not possible
  7. It is very expensive to operate because of duplication of functions.
  8. There is no uniform development since each region is allowed to develop at its own pace.



  1. Define federal system of government.
  2. Highlight 5 reasons fro the adoption of federalism.



  1. Give 4 reasons for the adoption of a unitary state.
  2. State 5 merits of a unitary state.
  3. Highlight 5 demerits of federalism.
  4. Explain the term ‘Federal Character’.



Essential government by C.C. Dibie pages 30-35

Comprehensive government by J.U. Anyaele pages



  1. A characteristic of a federal system of government is that power is (a) shared between the central and unit government (b) held by the state (c) shared between the component units of government.
  2. In a unitary system of government ____ is supreme (a) constitution (b) parliament

    (c) the central government.

  3. The following are examples of states that adopts federal system of government except (a) Nigeria (b) India (c) France
  4. In a federal system of government, education and health are examples of (a) exclusive powers (b) concurrent powers (c) residual powers
  5. The following are features of a unitary state except (a) powers are shared between different levels of government (b) it is suitable for a small country (c) the parliament is supreme



  1. Differentiate between federal and unitary system of government.
  2. Explain the problem of federal character as it affects federalism.

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